La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Addressing concerns about Thome

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: January 26, 2010 - 1:03 PM

No new news on Jim Thome's chances of landing with the Twins. Meanwhile, I read some of the comments posted here last night and this morning and decided to respond to a few.

from harrod

LaVelle - Why the interest in Thome? We need the extra help from the right side of the plate, not the left side

  A right-handed hitter would likely face lefties, but the Twins aren't going to sit Span, Mauer, Morneau or even Kubel in those cases. A left-handed hitter off the bench can be swapped out for Delmon Young, And most closers are right-handed, so Thome would hit for Punto, Harris. Hardy, Young or even Cuddyer if the matchup calls for it. 

from bcofdn1963 

The thing that concerns me is wether or not Thome can be a bench player and still be effective

Great point. I read yesterday that Thome's routine begins six hours before game time. Will that have to change if he comes off the bench. And just learning to be a bench player isn't an easy transition.

 

from wintwins2001 

 Maybe the Twins know more about Morneau's injuries than they are letting on. It's possible that they are worried about his health in 2010

 Nothing fishy going on. Swapped e-mails with Morneau last week and he was close to returning to full workouts. He wrote that he felt great.

from MrEsterhouse

How does Thome NOT make the Twins better? Our bench is pathetic right now. Thome makes the Twins instantly better than they are now

That's why the Twins are looking into this. They had no options off the bench in the postseason last year. Come to think of it, Jose Offerman and Midre Cummings might have been their last good bats off the bench, I just wish the Twins could find someone who could play a couple positions and be more flexible. Then again, Matt Stairs has made good $$$ the past few years in such a role.(photo on right courtesy of David Brewster)

On a side note, I covered Jose Offerman when he was with the Twins and when he was with the Royals. His violent behavior in recent years blows my mind. That is not the man i knew,

from wherbers

Dont rush into a Thome signing........Explore OHud , Lopez or a trade for Lowell / Uggla

Time to manage expectations. I was told late last season the Twins payroll could creep toward $95 million and it's already projecting out to just over $90M. That takes Hudson and Uggla out of the mix. Uggla's defense, anyway, is Ugga-ly. Hudson wants two years, based on the last thing I read about him, and the Twins aren't signing anyone to multi-year deals because 2011 would be the first year of any Mauer extension.

Lopez? Scouts tell me you want to hit the ball to him. Not the Twins' way. That leaves Lowell. Haven't heard his name but I'm guessing he has to prove he's healthy after offseason surgery now.

This is why signing Crede wouldn't surprise me, It would be a low-cost move and a stopgap until Danny Valencia is ready.

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